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$20 million Church donation to aid UNICEF’s campaign for 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines

Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced today a US$20 million grant to support UNICEF’s global work with the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and the vaccines arm of the ACT Accelerator called the COVAX Facility.

This grant complements the Church’s US$3 million donation in 2020 to facilitate UNICEF’s urgent COVID-19 response, providing water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

The new grant will contribute to UNICEF’s historic efforts in leading the procurement and supply of 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to around 196 participating COVAX countries and economies by the end of 2021. The initial 2 billion doses are intended to protect frontline health care and social workers, as well as high-risk and vulnerable people.

The donation will also support UNICEF as it works with countries to strengthen its cold and supply chains, train health workers, address misinformation, and build trust in vaccines and in the health systems delivering them.

“COVID-19 is the first truly global crisis we have seen in our lives. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person, including children. There has never been a more urgent need to work together. This grant for our important role in COVAX, from Latter-day Saint Charities, is the single biggest donation from a private sector partner that we’ve received to date,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director. “We hope that their generosity inspires other organizations, businesses, and individuals to help us ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.”

Through the COVAX Facility — together with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and CEPI — UNICEF is leveraging its unique experience in vaccine procurement and delivery, and its strengths and reach in community engagement, to build demand and acceptance for vaccines. The response aims to accelerate the end of the pandemic and minimize disruption to the lives of children by protecting health and social care workers around the world, including educators and primary caregivers.

“We express gratitude to UNICEF’s team and organization. They have done so much to care for children and their families and help them meet basic needs and fulfill their potential,” said Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of the Church. “As more adults in vulnerable communities are vaccinated, critical health, nutritional and educational services for children in need will be able to resume. We hold hope in our hearts not only of overcoming the pandemic, but of seeing a brighter future for all children and their families.”

Latter-day Saint Charities and UNICEF USA entered into partnership in 2013, working together to support children and their families in the areas of immunization, emergency response, and education and development needs of refugees.

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus. Find out more about UNICEF’s work on the COVID-19 vaccines here, or about UNICEF’s work on immunization here. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.

About the COVAX Facility

COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the WHO. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world. UNICEF, in collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, is leading efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX Facility.

About Latter-day Saint Charities

Latter-day Saint Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has supported 1,050 COVID-19 relief projects thus far in 152 countries. Latter-day Saint Charities gives monetary support to prominent global immunization partners to procure and deliver vaccinations, monitor diseases, respond to outbreaks, train health care workers, and develop elimination and eradication programming. The results include more immunized children and fewer lives lost to measles, rubella, maternal and neonatal tetanus, polio, diarrhea, pneumonia, and yellow fever.

Press release from Newsroom.
Lead image: UNICEF


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